A year ago, I posted "The Back Garden Project is Complete" and added, "Now we wait for it to grow!" And grow it has. After a month of weekends getting the spring weeding under control and then a weekend of heavy rain, its looking very lush.
And the cabbage tree in front of the house - which makes such a mess for most of the year, and can only really be appreciated from the back garden looking over the house - is amazing at this time of year when its in full flower.
At three degrees outside, It may be the coldest start to an October day for 35 years but the sun is out, the amalanchiers and crabapples are in blossom and the azaleas and camelias are flowering. What a beautiful morning at Abbotsley!
Following the great success at Downderry and Mousehole in getting their driveways resurfaced last month, Karyn and Chris along with residents from The Barn, Devon Cottage, Wimborne and Badgers Wood decided to have their driveways re-surfaced with Coldstream toppings all on the same day thus sharing the contractor's material delivery and equipment rental costs. Abbotsley was first off the mark and the biggest job.
Here's how it happened...
Now this is a big project I've been putting off for a couple of years but the old sleeper steps have rotted and were becoming dangerous so its time to tackle the job. This is what the old steps looked like
... and then a trailer load of AA grade old railway sleepers
Constructing Step 1
Constructing Step 3
Now Step 4
And Step 5
And finally, the full-width Top Step
The brick paver path leading to the front steps was very uneven and a bit of a tripping hazard as the spotted gum had grown and it would be better if the bottom step was the same riser height as all the others so a Coldstream topping path was laid on top of the bricks. The extra railway sleeper next the driveway should keep it all under control. Looks pretty good!
The completed new steps
But what about those other front steps on the right? A job for another time - perhaps a long curved ramp instead?
Karyn picked these two beautiful azalea's up from the local supermarket and there's a perfect home for them under the tall fern by the other azaleas.
Most of the plants that we put in to the Mothers garden in May last year are doing really well but, unfortunately, one of the grevillias the didn't survive the dry autumn so we've put in a replacement today. It's a different variety but that won't matter.
Over near the lime tree and hebe, we've also planted some more hellebores - two from pots and a few self-sown volunteers from the path and driveway. It's clear from the other garden bed that hellebores do very well here.
We've planted a number of native hibiscus's in the front garden over the years and they've grown quickly and produced beautiful purple flowers. But they haven't lasted long and the last one turned up its toes during the very dry autumn/winter this year. It was next to the one we had (unsuccessfully) transplanted a couple of years ago.
Chris and Karyn, Abbotsley homeowners since December 2010